Makeup Is Empowering

03.14.17

I have been fascinated with makeup since I was a little girl. I remember playing with my mom’s lipstick and eyeshadow. When I was in 7th grade I started wearing a little black eyeliner on my bottom lash line and eventually some mascara. Once I was 13 I started experimenting more with different types of products: BB Cream, powder, and eyeshadow. Now, I can spend hours just playing, experimenting, and putting on a full face of makeup.

Unfortunately, there have been countless instances where people have looked at me strangely or made comments because I was wearing a lot of makeup. I’ve had people ask me, “Why are you wearing makeup?” Or, “Who are you wearing makeup for?” My response is always the same, I wear makeup for myself because I want to. I wear makeup because it makes me feel happy and confident. I’ve also witnessed a lot of people making comments like “They’re wearing too much makeup.” Or, “You don’t need all that makeup, you look better natural.” A lot of people don’t understand how hurtful these questions and comments can be.

These comments invalidate our art. Because makeup is an art. It is our way of expressing ourselves. Instead of paper, our face is our canvas. A lot of people think makeup is used just to cover up imperfections and hide what you really look like because of insecurities. Although makeup can do those things, it is really about enhancing your natural beauty. It can highlight your favorite features and show your creativity. Makeup is empowering. Making the conscious choice to wear makeup because you know it’s going to make you feel good, is a perfect example of self-security and confidence. According to U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey, nearly a third of Americans used foundation or concealer makeup in 2016. If so many people wear makeup then there should not be so much shame that comes along with it.

Makeup shaming is a type of bullying. And like any type of bullying, it doesn’t benefit anyone. All it does is put someone down. How much makeup someone wears is not anyone’s concern but themselves. And who defines what is “enough” or “too much” makeup? It is all dependent on the person wearing it. Whether it is a full face, a little, or no makeup, if the person feels good about it, then it is enough. Makeup is something that should be looked at as beautiful and creative, not shamed.

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